Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali
The Destinies of Oedipus and Sundiata
The classical stories of Oedipus The King and Sundiata tell the tale of two epic heroes who must seek out and fulfill their own unique destinies. Although the themes of fate and destiny play a major role in the lives of Oedipus and Sundiata, both characters adapt quite differently to their predetermined positions: Oedipus is the tragic hero, always trying to tempt fate, whereas Sundiata willingly accepts his destiny. Both men are qualified to be powerful leaders but they utilize these qualities in different, sometimes opposing ways.
In the opening scene of the play Oedipus The King, the audience is introduced to Oedipus as a compassionate, concerned leader: he is a man of his word and a man of action. His people are suffering because of a plague that has swept the land and Oedipus suffers with them. He will stop at nothing to save them from this curse. Ironically, while saving his people, Oedipus destroys himself. When Oedipus is told by Delphi - Apollo, the prophet's oracle, the only way to stop the plague is to find the man who murdered Laius, the former king, the audience views a new side of Oedipus - his imperfections and flaws. In spite of his intelligence he acts foolishly, impulsively, and impatiently. With much...
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